This feature sheds light on the work students and teachers are doing, and it lets the community know what makes each class special.
Here’s more about this week’s featured classroom:
Teacher: Cady Haveman
Grade: Young Fives
School: Peach Plains Elementary School
What makes your classroom special? My 23 wonderful students! Our classroom community is something to be celebrated. We have an amazing group of children energized and eager to learn. We applaud one another’s success and enjoy challenging ourselves to become creative thinkers and risk takers. Students learn important reading, writing, math, science, and social skills through hands-on experiences and purposeful play. Young Fives is a year of amazing opportunities to grow socially, emotionally, and academically.
In addition to the curriculum, what are some things you teach your students? We have a great curriculum that covers academic skills and social skills, which are essential to quality early childhood education. Additionally, I model and teach a variety of topics through quality children’s literature. I love to read aloud to the class; children have a special way of connecting to texts. Personally, I have a strong commitment to the social and emotional learning core competencies (CASEL 5) including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. I believe social and emotional skills are the core of what we do, giving students a firm foundation for knowledge to grow upon. Additionally, students are building a mindset for learning, which includes empathy, flexibility, persistence, resilience, and optimism. This is modeled and practiced in all we do and becomes part of who we are.
What special project is your classroom working on now? We have some fun things happening in Young Fives this month! We will soon celebrate 100 days of learning and growing together in Young Fives at Peach Plains. The students are very proud of themselves for all their accomplishments. Mrs. Collison, our teaching assistant, and I are so proud of them, too! It’s fun to reflect on what we’ve learned over the first 100 days of school, and important to recognize the growth and efforts. It’s also neat to think about the future and our goals for this school year.
Later this month, I will be hosting a Family Writing Night. Students and families will be invited to school together to learn more about writer’s workshop. Family Nights are a fun way to involve our school community in the education of their child and are modeled on Grand Haven’s “Success for all, takes us all” belief.
How is your classroom involved with the community? Family Nights are a special way to bring together our classroom community. My goal is for families to feel connected in education and confident supporting their child. Spending an evening learning together has made a big impact both in and out of our classroom. This school year I’ve hosted Reading Night in October, and Math Night in December. Family Writing Night is scheduled later this month.
In addition, our classroom and school community work to support the wonderful community we live in. We’ve donated a variety of non-perishable items to local food pantries through multiple food drives, and collected toys in the month of December to gift to local families. Giving is powerful and a wonderful way to support Grand Haven. Together we are community!
How do you hope what your students are learning now will affect their future? Quality early childhood education and experiences are an important part of future successes. It is my goal to provide these learning experiences throughout the day and across the year. Young Fives is a year of exponential growth and development, which will shine through and carry on in the elementary years and beyond. We strive to show students they are significant and important, helping them recognize their value and find their voice. These kiddos are the future – and the work we do now will make a positive impact in not only their future, but ours, too!